Location information is becoming a lot like salt — some folks think adding it makes every app better. Data released today from Skyhook, a company that uses Wi-Fi signals to provide location information, notes that location data is popping up in ever more mobile applications, from the expected, like travel and navigation apps, to the bizarre, like medical and music apps. The report notes that paid apps using location-based services outnumber the free ones in the well-established Apple App Store and are likely to gradually outnumber the free apps in other popular app stores as they mature.
This focus on paid makes sense, given that grabbing location information generally costs the developer money, but it also means that location should add real value to an application instead of being a trendy feature. Right now, it’s not clear if location is like salt and works in everything, or if its more akin to cumin or another spice that works well only in certain types of dishes.The report also broke out the most popular category of applications that were using location information by app store and calculated the average cost of an LBS app by store. Check it out:
Apple App Store: Navigation, $3.47
BlackBerry App World: Navigation, $11.70
Android Marketplace: Travel, $1
Palm App Catalog: Entertainment, free (currently the Palm store has no paid apps)
Nokia Ovi Store: Utilities, $3.11